Location: Palazzo Venezia, Via Benedetto Croce , Naples, Italy [MAP]
Project Type: Hanging Garden
Completion Date: around 1412
Access: check opening times
Among the narrow roads and buildings in the historical heart of Naples, lies a unique Palace, however even more fascinating is its garden.
The sign on the road captured my attention, “a historical hanging garden”, how can it be possible in this compact city?
The palace was built in 1412 and was a gift from the king Ladislao I of Naples to the Republic of Venice. It had different owners and periods of neglect. Today it hosts exhibitions and events whilst current restoration works are being carried out to return it to its former glory.
The Palace consists of a series of rooms that resemble a Pompeian building overlooking a ‘Neapolitan garden’.
The garden is built on tough rock with a series of terraces. Excavated in the rock area are a series of tunnels that connect the garden to the apartment, the courtyard and the cloister of San Domenico Maggiore.
It is a garden that has been transformed over the years by its different owners but still has the layout of a classical Neapolitan Garden with it’s beds, narrow paths and a series of vistas and spaces. It is a small paradise, a completely different world from street level.
The writing in latin on the temple dating 1818 expresses what a hanging garden meant in a crowded city:
“CARA DOMUS SED UBIHORTULUS ALTER ACCESSIT QUANTO CARIOR ES DOMINO NUNC ET ADESSE AT ABESSE FORO NUNC TEMPORE EODEM VIVERE MI RURI VIVERE IN URBE LICET A.1818” (1)
(For a long time you are my dear, or house, but when a vegetable garden has been added, even more dear you are to your master and I can now take part in public life or not to participate and at the same time I can live in the country and live in town).
All images © Citrusbelladonna, 2011
© The Secret Garden Atlas, 2013